The Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPPMAN) says the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) should not be the sole importer of petroleum products, as this has negatively impacted the industry.
DAPPMAN’s First Vice-Chairman, Hajia Amina Maina, made the remark on Tuesday at the ongoing 13th Oil Trading and Logistics (OTL Africa Downstream) Conference in Lagos.
She spoke during the session on “Depots, Pipelines and Fleets – Policy and Operations for Sustainable Downstream Assets and Infrastructure.”
Maina said that NNPC’s involvement in importation ought not to be more than 30 per cent, with the private sector sharing the remaining 70 per cent among themselves.
She noted that the policy had negatively impacted the downstream sector, with only about 55 depots out of the over 200 currently functioning at optimal capacity.
Maina, who is also the Chief Operating Officer, MRS Holdings Limited, said the situation had led to job losses in the industry, while some of the companies were still struggling to offset their financial obligations to banks.
“There must be enabling an environment for the private sector to come back into the industry. It is a known fact that the private sector is more efficient than the government sector.
“NNPC should take a back step and allow the private sector to take the lead in the industry.”
According to her, the position of DAPPMAN is that the industry must be in line with global best practices, to attract investors.
She said policy changes by subsequent governments had continued to discourage the much-desired investment in the downstream sector, which would create more employment for Nigerians.
“Government should understand that within the value chain of the downstream sector, everyone can play a different role for the benefit of the country,” Maina said.
She noted that the government, rather than being a competitor, should focus on providing the enabling environment and regulatory framework that would improve collaboration with the private sector, to address the challenges facing the sector.